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Thread: Recommend tires

  1. #1
    lordofthemark's Avatar
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    Default Recommend tires

    My rear tire has over 5500 miles on it, its a Continental (?) 32.

    The front tire has probably over 8000 miles on it, and is a 28 (yeah, I replaced a 28 with a 32, without thinking very hard)

    I am pretty sure its time to replace them both. I am pretty sure I want to get 28's. I use the bike mostly for commuting, and for recreational rides on paved trails and streets. (I ride do recreational rides on the GCCCT or the C&O maybe once a year or so) I would like to be able to go faster, and I don't mind being a littlem more uncomfortable - I suspect any narrower than a 28 is not a great idea, but 32's are too wide. And that I want slicks (but someone warned me that some compromise on that is better for wet days) I don't much like changing flats, and generally ride unequipped to change a flat in the field (me bad). OTOH I don't have particularly strong fingers and when I do change a tube, don't want to deal with a tire thats really hard to remove or to get back on. And, of course, I do not want to spend a lot, either at one time, or "life cycle cost".

    Is that enough constraints? Oh and reflective tires might be good.

    Your ideas are welcome. Or just nerdy tire talk is fine.

  2. #2
    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
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    "Pretty sure" they need to be replaced, or the tread is actually worn? I'd say replace them when the tread is clearly worn off, before the threads start to show. For the conditions you describe, I'd say Continental Gatorskins would be a good fit. Good flat protection, decent enough ride, pretty long-lasting, and readily available at most shops.

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    Regarding slicks in the wet, Uncle Sheldon explains that channels in bike tire tread are unnecessary because bike tires canít hydroplane, so the channels donít do anything for you except give you less rubber in contact with the road. Thereís a good article about it on his website .

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    I'd say replace them when the tread is clearly worn off, before the threads start to show.
    The way to do this is to wait until the threads start to show and then unride them about 100 miles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    The way to do this is to wait until the threads start to show and then unride them about 100 miles.
    If you ride backwards, rubber actually accumulates from the road surface back onto your tires. Right, Steve O?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post
    If you ride backwards, rubber actually accumulates from the road surface back onto your tires. Right, Steve O?
    That's the harder way. I just remount my tire in the opposite direction from the little pointy arrow.

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    When mess with a good thing? If Conti served you well, stick with it. My key tire factors for tires are weight, durability, and rolling resistance, and cost. Take a look at their offerings and see what looks best for you

    https://www.continental-tires.com/bicycle/tires

    Folding tires are usualy lighter than wire beads but cost more. I like Vectran layer for durability, slicks might provide better traction but can have higher rolling resistance. Lastly, bike tires "worness" is not dictated by how many miles or how bald they might be, but by its age as well. A set of tires for daily commute should last about two seasons before needing replacement.

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    More thoughts on tires- One direction are the fast road tires with extra protection- the Conti Gatorskins and such. Another direction, if you value durability above all else, would be a touring/commuting tire with flat protection. From Continental, that would be their *Plus* series, and from Schwalbe, any of their Marathon tires. They *will* be heavier, true, but they have the extra puncture-resistant layer under the tread. Ideal if you don't want to be slowed going to work by having to repair a flat in the field. Most have smooth tread centers, with just enough tread/lugs on the side to be useful on Canal gravel. I have experience with Conti Touring Pluses (since superceded by Conti Contact Plus), then went with the vaunted Schwalbe Marathons. Which I found to be one gear faster with the same effort on the olde Trek.

    Highly puncture resistant, but not puncture-proof. Once, I crowed about the Touring Plus's ability to stand up to everything short of a snapping turtle. Then I met a roofing staple. Humility check.

    A sizing note- Continentals tend to run small for their size. Schwalbe Marathons, true to size, but the original Marathon 32-622's on the Trek are actually a taller profile- they have the rolling diameter of a 35, but still fit my bike with fenders installed.

    One more thing to consider- you can get 28's in these touring/commuting tires from Conti/Schwalbe/Vittoria, but there is a trend toward fatter tires, even amongst the road racing pros. Rivendell, whose business is aimed at touring cyclists, recommend as large a tire as will fit your bike. Lower rolling resistance, cushier ride, extra grip, and you likely won't encounter an aero penalty unless you're in time trail mode.

    Reflective sidewalls are a *wonderful* visibility advantage at night in urban/suburban traffic. Enough so that the German StVZO road traffic regs will allow them instead of wheel reflectors. Most touring/city tires will have that. Of note, Larry Behery (The Old Bike Shop) runs Schwalbe Kojak slicks on his Cannondale "Lefty", and those have reflective lettering instead.
    Last edited by Starduster; 10-20-2018 at 06:57 PM.

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    lordofthemark's Avatar
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    Some pictures, for reference

    The front tire - the Continental City Rider


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    and yes, its a 28

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    The state of the tread

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    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 10-20-2018 at 03:55 PM.

  13. #10
    lordofthemark's Avatar
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    The rear tire. a Continental Contact

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    So wait, a 32-622 is actually a 28? Good news, I did not make so stupid a purchase last time as buying a mismatched tire, and feel less reason to replace this soon. Bad news, I am not good at recognizing the relative widths of two tires in front of me, and I have less of an excuse for riding slowly.
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    More of the rear tire

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    Last edited by lordofthemark; 10-20-2018 at 04:03 PM.

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